Poetry Friday: Missing Fairies, Stolen Child

h1 December 14th, 2007 by eisha

Oona from LegendLet me just say up front that I’m really enjoying my duties as a panelist on the Young Adult Fiction Nominating Panel for the Cybils. I’ve been reading a TON of books, and a lot of them I probably wouldn’t have even heard about if they hadn’t been nominated. It’s been a great experience so far, and I’ve got some new favorite books that I should really write about someday soon.

That said: I’m starting to really miss fantasy. I mean, straight-up teen fiction is great and all – dating, drugs, gossip, gangs, religion, rebellion, class clowns, abusive parents, terminal diseases… there’s some great stuff to be said about all of it. But I guess I can only take so much reality-based fiction in one three-month sitting. I’ve been starving for faires, unicorns, wizards, goblins… heck, even a little telekinesis or a ghost or something would be nice. Come January, I’m going to have to go on a BIG OL’ FANTASY BINGE. Anyone who’s got a recommendation (I’m looking at YOU, Fantasy Panel people), you can just leave it here in the comments. Much obliged.

In the meantime, here’s an excerpt from a classic William Butler Yeats poem that’s inspired both a song by The Waterboys and a novel by Keith Donohue (co-reviewed by me and Jules last year):

“The Stolen Child”

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim grey sands with light,
Far off by furthest Rosses
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances,
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;
To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And is anxious in its sleep.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you
can understand.

Click here to read the whole thing. And don’t forget to leave me your Fantasy recommendations! Pretty please!

24 comments to “Poetry Friday: Missing Fairies, Stolen Child”

  1. Dearheart, have you read Shannon Hale’s The Book of a Thousand Days? Or Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier ? Or maybe you’d like Laura Ruby’s Chaos King (which is a sequel to The Wall and the Wing, also good), or Standard Hero Behavior, by John David Anderson, or Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely, or the darkly complex Skin Hunger by Kathleen Duey…

    There’s a lot of wonderful out there. And I expect you to return the favor with your favorite YA’s, all right?

  2. Ooh, TadMack, you’re the second person to recommend Wicked Lovely, so that one may be first. I knew you’d come through for me. I thank you with all my heart for the suggestions.

    And I’m happy to return the favor. Some good YAs I’ve run across so far, in no order at all:

    Billie Standish Was Here by Nancy Crocker
    Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr
    Boy Toy by Barry Lyga
    Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson
    The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt
    High Spirits by Dianne K. Salerni
    Something Rotten by Alan Gratz
    The Off Season by Catherine Murdock
    This is What I Did by Ann Dee Ellis
    Girl at Sea by Maureen Johnson
    Touching Snow by M. Sindy Felin
    In the Name of God by Paula Jolin
    The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
    Deadline by Chris Crutcher
    Wonders of the World by Brian Yansky

    I could go on and on…

  3. I did the same thing recently – total fantasy binge!
    Some great ones were:
    Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George
    Lily Dale: Awakening by Wendy Corsi Staub
    Faeries of Dreamdark by Laini Taylor
    Wicked Lovely (I agree)
    Valiant by Holly Black
    Just a smattering . . .

  4. Not a big fantasy reader here, but I do what I can. I can vouch for Wildwood Dancing — and I reviewed it here this year.

    TadMack, as for YA realism/not-fantasy, last night I finished Siobhan Dowd’s A Swift Pure Cry. Totally riveting. Totally lovely writing. I enjoyed the entire book, but it takes a turn about mid-way that turns it into one of those dinner-can-wait-I-can’t-put-this-down books.

    Oh, and TadMack, Billie Standish Was Here is probably my favorite YA from the whole year, but then I reviewed that, too, and rambled about its greatness. Eisha’s right. It’s fabulous. I can’t wait to see what Nancy Crocker brings us next.

  5. Eisha, I second the Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer recommendation. And did you read Megan Whalen Turner’s Attolia trilogy? I don’t think any of them came out this year, so you may be caught up. Just recently I read and loved The Name of this Book is Secret. I haven’t yet read Nancy Farmer’s Land of Silver Apples, but I loved the first book, Sea of Trolls, so I hope to get to that soon. And I still keep recommending Un Lun Dun to everyone…

  6. Ooh, good one, Libby. Un Lun Dun is like nothing else you’ll read this year. Did you already read that one, E?

    I’m really going away now.

  7. I loved Un Lun Dun… and Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer… and Valiant… but I’ve read none of the others so far – some I haven’t even heard of. Thanks, everyone! Keep ’em coming!

  8. I’m glad Wicked Lovely is getting the love it deserves, and I also recommend Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett–very smart and cleverly marketed to the Meg Cabot crowd.

    And if you haven’t read Keturah and the Lord Death, by Martine Leavitt, it’s the kind of fantasy I imagine Karen Cushman writing. There’s lots of pie-making.

  9. Loreena McKennitt sings “The Stolen Child” on her first album, “Elemental.” It’s quite lovely, but the Waterboys’ version is the one that twists up my insides and wrings them out.

    Have you read The Hounds of the Morrigan, by Pat O’Shea? It’s one of my favorite fantasies, and the book I’d be holding on my celebrity READ poster.

  10. The Knight


    The Wizard

    both Gene Wolfe.


  11. Oh, yes, Emily, I love all three of the Tiffany Aching books. But I haven’t read Keturah – but I love both pie and fantasy so it sounds perfect. Thanks!

    Akelda, I can just imagine Lorena McKennitt singing that song – I bet it’s spooky. And no, I have not read Hounds of the Morrigan, but that’s quite an endorsement. Thanks to you, too!

    Blaine, Gene Wolfe is one of those authors I’ve always meant to check out, but have yet to actually do it. Thanks for the push.

  12. Blaine’s hard-core about Gene Wolfe, thinks he’s the best contemporary writer. Am I right, m’dear?

  13. I haven’t read much fantasy lately, but I must cast a fourth or fifth or whatever it is recommendation for Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer. It’s on my shortlist of best books for the year.

  14. More than one person has suggested (well, said outright) that Gene Wolfe is the greatest living writer in the English language. I won’t say that, since I haven’t read everyone. His stories are *really* good, though, and deep.

    Gaiman has an essay, “How to Read Gene Wolfe”, at http://www.sfsite.com/fsf/2007/gwng0704.htm. My favorite points are seven and three:

    “7) There are two kinds of clever writer. The ones that point out how clever they are, and the ones who see no need to point out how clever they are. Gene Wolfe is of the second kind, and the intelligence is less important than the tale. He is not smart to make you feel stupid. He is smart to make you smart as well. ”

    “3) Reread. It’s better the second time. It will be even better the third time. And anyway, the books will subtly reshape themselves while you are away from them. Peace really was a gentle Midwestern memoir the first time I read it. It only became a horror novel on the second or the third reading. ”

    In my opinion, you’re pretty much cheating yourself if you don’t immediately drop what you’re doing and give his books a shot.

    edit: being a site admin means never having to settle for bungling your own links

  15. And I can still go in and bold your links so that people see them more clearly 🙂 — so they don’t miss the info. Thanks for the link. Hey, where exactly can I get a Gene Wolf title if I wanna read one?

    Heh. I really will read one very soon.

  16. Dude, you’ve sold me already. But I still have many, many YA fiction titles to read before I get to drop everything and embark on the fantasy binge. 122 nominations, people. ‘S all I’m sayin’.

  17. I also put in a vote for Faeries of Dreamdark.
    Also Libba Bray’s books.
    The Harry Potter books: Books 3 and 7 are the best ones in my opinion.
    The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan
    Clemency Pogue: Fairy Killer by J.T. Petty

  18. I forgot to mention Holly Black’s books and Justine Larbalestier’s trilogy.

  19. If you want something really short and incredibly lovely, I recommend Zel by Donna Jo Napoli. I also really enjoyed William J. Brooke’s Teller of Tales, A Telling of the Tales, and Untold Tales.

    I also absolutely adore Owl in Love, another quick and beautiful read.

  20. Thanks, Vivian and Sara. I read the first Libba Bray book, but haven’t read the sequels. And I’m not familiar with William J. Booke at all. Good suggestions.

  21. Oh, I could go on and on. I’ll just say one right now that’s short and thus which you can easily read as a ‘cleanser’ between two YA noms: Have you read THE FAIRY REBEL by Lynne Reid Banks yet?

  22. No, I haven’t! Thanks, LW!

  23. Just came across the site and I love many of the books mentioned, especially Unlundun. I notice that Diana Wynne Jones is not on your YA list and you can’t do better with Elves than Fire and Hemlock. It’s a great combination of Thomas the Rhymer and Tam Lin.

  24. i beleve in so meany things like
    1.fairys 2.unicorns 3.leprechauns 4.wonderland 5.neverland 6.wizards

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